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compiled by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & The Wait is Over & r & & r & Finally, 2008 is here -- have you heard, there's supposed to be some kind of election? In so pivotal a year, we thought it would be best to offer up a weekly peek at the wins, losses, ups, downs, zingers and gaffes of the various candidates for president. We'll spend some time on other political punchlines, too -- the Gregoire/Rossi rematch, the continuing saga of Larry "Wide Stance" Craig -- but usually we'll find plenty presidential to talk about between now and Election Day. If you have any tidbits to toss our way, or think you've caught a candidate in an inconsistency, drop us an e-mail at totheeditor@inlander.com.





"A Noun, a Verb and 9/11"


That's how Democrat Joe Biden has described the sentences that come out of Rudy Giuliani's mouth on the campaign trail. And now that the trail has grown more rocky for Rudy, it's becoming 9/11 all the time, as his latest TV ad reminds you that, "I saw the picture of the firefighters putting the flag up at ground zero. I said these are the children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the greatest generation. They have the same resolve."





Now airing in New Hampshire, among other places, the ad is a finger in the dike -- Giuliani has already given up on the idea of winning in Iowa and New Hampshire; now he's trying to not get embarrassed in the primary season's first week. Despite being the presumptive Republican nominee throughout the summer, now Rudy is left to hope that a big win in Florida will get his candidacy back on track. But that's not until Jan. 29.





"I Know Something About Tailspins"


That's how John McCain described Mitt Romney's campaign in New Hampshire last week, adding, "it's pretty clear Mitt Romney is in one."


As Romney has watched his leads in Iowa and New Hampshire get gobbled up -- leads he spent tens of millions of dollars creating -- his campaign calculus has become more brutal. Not long ago, he was expected to win the first two primaries, then try to ride that wave to later wins. Now some pundits are wondering if he can recover at all if he loses both. And McCain and Mike Huckabee are only too happy to administer a few steel toes to the midsection while he's down.
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